The formal sciences discover the philosophers' stone

Abstract
The last fifty years have seen the creation of a number of new "formal" or "mathematical" sciences, or "sciences of complexity". Examples are operations research, theoretical computer science, information theory, descriptive statistics, mathematical ecology and control theory. Theorists of science have almost ignored them, despite the remarkable fact that (from the way the practitioners speak) they seem to have come upon the "philosophers' stone": a way of converting knowledge about the real world into certainty, merely by thinking.
Keywords formal sciences  mathematics
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References found in this work BETA
Paul Benacerraf (1965). What Numbers Could Not Be. Philosophical Review 74 (1):47-73.
Phillip Bricker (1991). Plenitude of Possible Structures. Journal of Philosophy 88 (11):607-619.

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Citations of this work BETA
N. Reingold (1996). Between American History and History of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 27 (1):115-129.
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